20 Nov 2003 Timster   » (Master)

A copy of our latest robot related press release is posted below for those who are interested.
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VIA Drives Emergence of New Personal Robotics Market with Innovative new PC-Bots from White Box Robotics and RoboDynamics

New PC-Bot products from White Box Robotics and RoboDynamics based on VIA EPIA Mini-ITX Mainboard cater to the growing personal robotics market

Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, 19 November 2003 - VIA Technologies, Inc, a leading innovator and developer of silicon chip technologies and PC platform solutions, today announced that it is showcasing two exciting new PC-Bots, the 912 from White Box Robotics and the IO from RoboDynamics, at a private press event held in Las Vegas this week.

PC-Bots are a rapidly emerging new category of devices that bridge the gap between the PC and conventional robots by leveraging the unrivaled power, flexibility, and compatibility of the x86 architecture to enable the integration of advanced functionality and intelligence, including human-like senses such as vision processing, audio processing, and the ability to interact with people and other devices and detect environmental changes.

Based on the VIA EPIA Mini-ITX mainboard platform, PC-Bots are opening up exciting new possibilities for product design innovation in a diverse range of applications, including mobile music DJs, home and office security guards, and patient care assistants. The 912 from White Box Robotics, for example, is a stunning-looking PC-Bot that can move around the house and allows people to enjoy their home digital entertainment content, such as listening to MP3 songs.

"PC-Bots are an exciting new way to experience and connect the entertainment and home automation features that are becoming mainstream," declared Timothy Brown, Robotics Program Manager for VIA Technologies, Inc. "These exciting new designs from White Box Robotics and RoboDynamics clearly illustrate the enormous potential for innovation within this new market category."

"Our nine series of robots allows anyone who can operate a PC the chance to own an attractive and functional personal robot," said Thomas J. Burick, President of White Box Robotics. "The 912 is designed with an industry standard approach to robot building. Almost all of the components used in the 912 are standard off-the-shelf computer parts. Any computer store in the world becomes your own personal robot parts bin. VIA's Mini-ITX mainboard allows this to happen by providing an ultra compact yet powerful mainboard to build upon."

"We believe that over the next few years you will begin to see personal robotics take off and go through a tremendous growth phase equaling that of the PC industry during the 90s" says Fred Nikgohar, Chairman and CEO of RoboDynamics. "The VIA motherboard gives us a robust and standardized platform that allows a fast time-to-market as well as a plethora of existing development tools already existing for the x86 chip family."

VIA EPIA Mainboards Powering the Robotics Revolution VIA EPIA Mini-ITX mainboards are already being utilized in the design and development of pioneering robotics projects by a number of organizations and educational groups, including the Stanford Research Institute (SRI) mapping and surveillance Centibots project, the University of Manitoba's Autonomous Agents Lab and several autonomous race vehicle teams competing in the DARPA Grand Challenge, including Team LoGHIQ.

Autonomous vehicles are sophisticated mobile robots that traverse land, sea and air under the guidance of their own internal artificial intelligence. Typically they require robust, low power computing platforms to act as the complex software control environments that run the mechanical movement instructions, sensors, positioning, and navigation equipment that enable their independent operation.

Robot Petting Zoo at Lunch@Piero's VIA will be hosting a panel discussion on today's commercial robot business opportunities at the Lunch@Piero's press-only tech event held in Las Vegas, opposite the Las Vegas Convention Center, from Monday to Tuesday, 18-19 November 2003. Speakers from VIA, Carnegie-Mellon, Robotic Trends, Evolution Robotics, RoboteQ will lead the panel while White Box Robotics and RoboDynamics will unveil their exciting new product offerings at this time. A robot "Petting Zoo" demo area at the event will showcase the functionality and innovation of wide variety of robots based on VIA platforms.

About VIA in Robotics The VIA Robotics Initiative is the first phase of VIA's efforts to promote PC architecture and VIA platforms for the robotics industry. By working together on projects of all levels with the academic, commercial and enthusiast communities with existing VIA EPIA-Series mainboards, VIA is validating design strategies. Strategies that are highly applicable for today's robot markets while laying the groundwork for platform advances that will continue to progress the future development of robot-specific technologies and products into mainstream markets.

The VIA Robotics Initiative plays an important role for defining the longer-term direction of VIA's "Total Connectivity" message. Robot and PC industry watchers can expect to see a series of projects and product announcements over the next year.

For more details about the VIA Robotics initiative please visit the VIA website at: http://www.via.com.tw/en/robotics/robotics.jsp

About the VIA EPIA M10000 Mini-ITX Mainboard The VIA EPIA M10000 Mini-ITX mainboard is the second-generation 17cm x 17cm platform optimized for today's killer digital video, audio and more complex processor intensive applications. In addition to its integrated 1GHz VIA C3 processor, the board features the VIA CLE266 chipset with embedded MPEG-2 decoder and a new integrated 2D/3D graphics engine to ensure smooth DVD playback and a rich overall entertainment experience. With the sizable memory bandwidth of DDR266 SDRAM and the high data transfer speeds of ATA-133, the VIA EPIA M10000 ensures the high performance levels required of today's most popular digital media and productivity applications. The user's digital media experience is further enhanced by support for 5.1 surround sound, courtesy of the onboard VIA Vinyl Six-TRAC Audio.

The latest in high-bandwidth connectivity is supported with IEEE 1394 and USB2.0 connections, as well as S-Video and RCA TV-Out (NTSC & PAL) and 10/100 Mbps Fast Ethernet for seamless broadband connectivity. The VIA EPIA M-Series also offers support for a growing number of LVDS embedded LCD panels, has a PCI slot for expandability options, and is compatible with a full range of Mini-ITX chassis as well as FlexATX and MicroATX enclosures. It is also compatible with Microsoft® Windows® 2K/ME/XP and a variety of Linux-based operating systems.

The VIA EPIA M10000 Mini-ITX mainboard is available in volume now from VIA's global distribution partners listed here: http://www.viaarena.com/?PageID=242, including leading US online stores www.mwave.com, www.newegg.com, and www. outpost.com, at an estimated retail price of US$199. For more information on the full range of VIA EPIA M-Series Mini-ITX mainboards please visit: www.viaembedded.com/product/epia_m_spec.jsp?motherboardId=81

About White Box Robotics White Box Robotics is a group of visionaries with their sights set on dynamic commercial robotic products. White Box Robotics mission is to become an industry leader and innovator of PC based mobile robotic platforms for the entertainment, educational, and personal robotics industry.

For more information about White Box Robotics, please visit the website: http://www.whiteboxrobotics.com

About Robodynamics Founded in September 2003, RoboDynamics is a provider of personal, entertainment and productivity robotics. Our vision is a near future where mobile and stationary intelligent devices interact with people and allow them to perform everyday tasks in ways that are more efficient, intriguing, and productive.

For more information about RoboDynamics, please visit: http://www.robodynamics.com

About VIA Technologies, Inc. VIA Technologies, Inc. is the foremost fabless supplier of market-leading core logic chipsets, low power x86 processors, advanced connectivity, multimedia, networking and storage silicon, and complete platform solutions that are driving system innovation in the PC and embedded markets. Headquartered in Taipei, Taiwan, VIA's global network links the high tech centers of the US, Europe and Asia, and its customer base includes the world's top OEMs, motherboard vendors and system integrators. VIA is listed on the Taiwan Stock Exchange (TSE2388) and achieved annual revenues of over US$720 million in 2002. www.via.com.tw

VIA PR Contacts

International: Richard Brown Phone: (886)-2-2218-5452 #6201 Fax: (886-2)-2218-5453 Email: Richard_Brown@via.com.tw

Europe:

Michal Lisiecki Phone: (49-2241) 39778-16 Fax: (49-2241) 39778-19 Email: MichalLisiecki@via.com.tw

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